Monday, January 15, 2018

Three Beautiful Things 01/14/18: Back to Yoke's, Food Prep and Flock of Seagulls, Family Dinner

1. I realized this morning that I didn't buy everything I wanted at Yoke's yesterday, so I returned this morning to purchase some ginger root, green onions, more broccoli, sugar, and a few other things in preparation for cooking tonight's family dinner.

2. The food preparing pretty much consumed my afternoon. I had quite a bit of chopping, slicing, and mincing to do: cucumbers, red onion, yellow onion, garlic, cilantro, ginger, limes, and red pepper;  I cleaned and shelled a pound of raw shrimp. I also made a dressing for the cucumber salad, a sauce for the shrimp fried rice, and peanut sauce for the roasted broccoli. Saturday night I shelled and chopped a pound of peanuts, so that was ready to go.  This was fun work. Listening to 80s alternative rock music made it even more pleasant as memories from around thirty-five years ago rushed in as music by Flock of Seagulls, Modern English, The Thompson Twins, and a host of other groups played over the Bose.

3. I rimmed mason jars with fresh lime juice, filled them with ice and put them in the freezer a couple of hours before we started having drinks. Just before Christy, Everett, Carol, Paul, and next door neighbor, Jane arrived, I cut wheels out of lime peel, put a wheel in each glass and mixed our guests gin and tonics. While the others had a cocktail and visited, I put a baking sheet of olive oiled and salt and peppered broccoli stalks into the oven to roast and dished out helpings of cucumber salad in small bowls. Once roasted, I put some broccoli on small plate for each guest and topped the broccoli with peanut sauce.

While the others ate their appetizers, I sauteed onion and garlic in oil and white wine, did the same with the chopped red bell pepper, and then added the shrimp and let them cook until pink. I moved the onion, garlic, red peppersand shrimp to another pan and kept them warm while I scrambled several eggs. I had made rice for this meal back on Thursday with chicken broth that had been bubbling for several days and added it to the eggs and returned the shrimp, onion, garlic, and red pepper back into the original skillet and drizzled stir fry sauce over it. When it was all hot enough to eat, I made everyone a bowl of shrimp fried rice and topped each bowl with chopped green onions.

This turned out to be a superb family dinner. Everyone enjoyed the meal as well as the choice between mango sorbet or coconut and pineapple ice cream (or both!) for dessert.

This was our first dinner party in our new kitchen and we all loved our new kitchen's roominess.  Even with the dining table expanded to accommodate seven people, we didn't feel cramped. 

As tonight's cook, I appreciated all the room I had to move around in this kitchen. I also enjoyed having a good amount of counter space to prepare cocktails, two appetizers, and a main dish.

We have been slow getting curtains on the window and things hanging on the walls, but once we do, I'll post some pictures.

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